At a temperance maetinf recently held In Dunedin, speaking on the above.' Babj^ot, Sic William Fox, Bald there were some things whloh were at the same time both true and false. Mr Gladstone had said m the House of Oommoua tome time ago that the evils which flowed from strong drink were worse than war, psetU lenoe, and famine. There were few who would say ho had exceeded the troth. Bat he (Sir W. Fox) stood there to say that he did not thins: that ever ilnoe the world was oreated strong drink had done any harm to man, woman, or child — so long as it was kept looked tip, and a good teetotaller had the key of it. It was not the drink that did the harm, it was the man at the back of It. Who was the man? They knew very wel 1 . He was m a big brewery, and m that public-home. It was that man's gallop they wanted to> atop, and the only way they thought Ife could be done was that which they were proposing. There were only two ways to do this : taking the man away from the drink, and t iking the drink away front the man. Taking the man away f rcm the drink was moral suasion, which led to the formation of the Recbabitea and Good. Templars, ' and so forth ; and It was apparent that moral suasion had been no; failure. In hundreds of oaees, v they knew, immense' good had' been done' by moral Biuaion. He could point to doeana of caseß m whloh moral anas ton had bpeo; the saving of a man and all his snrrqnnd? ingß. It was only fifty-fire yean ago since the first Temprance pledge was taken, In the town of Preston, by seven: working' men. That was the first pledge taken Id the world. Aod how many did they nnmber now 1 Not less than five million* m Great Britain alone. But moral suasfott was not complete, because although' fire million people had yielded to ita blandishments, there were about twenty-three mililom who weire not total abstalnera, and a large proportion ,' of • whom fell. victims to strong drink. They wanted to remedy that, and they ay to do it was to take away the drink from the than. How did the drink oon&e to be sold ' We wees Hying no* onder prohibition of a rigor od» form. Kvety man, nomio, »nd ohlld ir»a prohibited from selling Intoxicating drink, except one man m about every 200— lucky fallows, who by the grace and favor of licensing oonamltfcees got permission to do so. It was all very well for men to saythat they would not Bubmit to Prohibition* that they would not suffer dictation ai to. what they should eat or drink that they would defend their liberty and alt that* but they wete living under a syctam of Prohibition already, and all the Alliance wanted wu that this one man m 200 ehould come down from his pedestal and stand on a level with th.c ; rest- of the community without the privilege of selling strong drink. There were three things the licensing oommitteei were called on to decide. The first was whether a man was Qualified to sell atroqgi drink or not. < He must stand bead and shoulder*; above his fellows, and bring oertifloatei to> show that he wns law abiding, moral, respectable, eto. Tha next thing tha committee had to ascertain wai whether the honao was qualified to have liquor Mid In it. The law prescribed that it < must be built on certain principles and have certain accommodation, With neither of these tblogs did the Alliance wish to interfere j but it was as to the third thing that the Alliance people, Local Optlonlstt, and Prohibit loniste wished to take the power out 'of the hands of the. licensing committees, The law said expressly that no licensing committee should be bonnd to grant a license unless it had first ascertained to its own satisfaction that the house for whloh the license was asked was a necessity In the district. That wae the word—" necessity " ; and by " necessity " he understood that the distriot would go to pleoei and the people get oholera or some other malignaat. disease and die If the lloense were cot granted. He o mid not underitand what the oom> mitteen thought a " neoesalty " when they granted so many licenses as there were, m auch a town as thin. Oonld they fayoa their consciences that they thought all these houses were necessities They oonld not do It, and neither the old benches nor the new committees tried to. I This power the Alliinoa wanted to take away from the Oommittees. And to whom did they want to give it Net to the Governor—he probably knew lets about It than the committees ; and not to the Premier, beoause he might be fond of frequenting . pabllo -houses • himielf— »tA« though that would not apply- to Sir Ssrry Atkinson, because he was a total -jbktalner and a member of the Alliance . Who wm likely to know best as to whether a house waa a neoesalty: the &7e members of sv licensing oommittee r;« the community at large He would '^ay the men and women of the eommuuiy were the people to know— they Wanted to have the women In it, and would have them, too. AH this groat reform amounted to was nothing but taking from oommittees the power of deciding if houses were neoessasry and giving it to the people. Sir, William then referred to the female franchise, for the lock of whloh at preaant not on« of the many noble women In the oolony could 41ft so much is a finger, to protest home or hearth from any injary ignorant or prejudiced legislation could Inllot on them.- Was this manly m us On tha' contrary, it was disgraceful; They were just as well educated as we they were taking the highest' honon at oollegaa when boyi came pulling along behind,. They had far more at atake, for the whole question was a women's question • — yet we were not going to give them s* vote. It was a mean and contemptible thing. In conclusion^ he said thai the* —fanatics ai thty were oeilad~-e» wanted to alter the law m one partloihvr - iad that by transfefrjag the power o> deoldlng wheth.ee or not there ehonld be lloensed bouse m o particular Jocaiitytc the. tommunlty . Looking at what a ama thing it was to' aak-, he was amaajd
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PROHIBITION., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1992, 20 November 1888
PROHIBITION. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1992, 20 November 1888
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